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Briefing paper

Assessment of the economic value of recreation and tourism in Western Australia's national parks, marine parks and forests

15 Jul 2004

This is the first assessment of the value of national parks, marine parks and forests for tourism and recreation in Western Australia. It was conducted at the behest of partner organisations in the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) in Western Australia, namely Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and the Western Australian Tourism Commission (WATC) and funded as a tactical project. As such, it addressed a specific research need for accurate and reliable data on the value of natural areas for tourism and recreation for use in managing and sustaining these areas into the future. A case study approach was adopted and two study regions were nominated because of their significance for tourism and recreation and their endowment of natural attractions within parks, forests and marine areas. A second stage of the study will draw upon the lessons learned in the case studies to develop a generic tool kit for assessment of other natural areas for tourism. The project was conducted by the Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre, Curtin University of Technology in collaboration with researchers from Murdoch and Edith Cowan Universities. A steering committee comprised of representatives from the three universities and the two industry partner organisations provided overall guidance on the project. The data and findings in this report are based on conservative estimates and projections of visitor expenditure and behaviour and as such provide an indication of direct economic value. Any errors or omissions in the report remain the responsibility of the authors.

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